President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih stated on Saturday that the government aims to empower and develop responsible youth.
He made the statement while addressing the ceremony held at Huravee School, in reclaimed suburb Hulhumale', to inaugurate the 'MDP Youth Congress 2019'.
"Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) is led by youth, as the party understands the needs of the youth, providing them with opportunities and empowering them".
President Solih noted that this administration's policies are aligned towards achieving the aspirations of the youth. He added that these policies strive to shape the system around real people; parents, guardians and youth, paving way for them to attain education with dignity and without having to seek sponsorship from outside parties.
He highlighted that unemployment is a growing issue amongst young people, who make up a large percentage of the Maldivian population.
"In this regard, the percentage of women who can’t access the job market is considerably higher than that of men. We have to fix this. Youth need to seek employment. Moreover, employers need to make flexible adjustments to encourage women to join the workforce".
Addressing the issue of housing, President Solih emphasized that a lack of adequate housing is a major issue faced by youth and also a root cause of some being driven to a life of crime.
He stated that these problems cannot be solved through prison time, and instead, they require rehabilitation. He went on to say that prisons and detention centres need to incorporate rehabilitative measures to tackle the root causes behind the problems.
Furthermore, the President stated that his government envisions the introduction of rehabilitative programs for prisons, noting that some 800 such inmates needing proper care through such a program, are incarcerated at the moment.
He highlighted that Drug Rehabilitation Centres have already been established in three regions of Maldives, and that rehabilitation programs are already underway in Drug Detox Centres established at Hanimaadhoo in Haa Dhaalu Atoll, Thinadhoo in Gaafu Dhaalu and Hulhudhoo in Addu City.
Concluding his address, President Solih advised the youth to adhere to the values of democracy, and to remain steadfast in expressing truth, and promoting justice and equality.